Latest News 5 June 2020

What we are doing at the moment 

  • Serving takeaway food Monday and Thursday lunchtimes between 12pm-3pm.
  • We also have a shop with fresh food and other essentials (toiletries and cleaning products mostly) for people to take home Monday, Thursday and Friday 12pm-3pm
  • We are acting as a food hub for the Headingley and Hyde Park and Woodhouse and Little London wards which means handing out the food parcels put together by the council these are collected by specific LCC volunteers. 
  • We are also delivering takeaways and groceries to a small number of families and households who are self isolating and in financial need.

How many people are we supporting

  • The last couple of weeks have been giving out about 170 council food parcels a week and this number seems to have steadied.  
  • We are now sending out an average of 250 ‘plates’ of food per day, this is almost double what we were doing as a cafe previously. Obviously some days are busier than others and numbers on this also seem to have steadied a little.  
  • We are regularly taking deliveries of takeaways and shopping to several families/households, this is quite variable but we are supporting around 30 per people a week this way. 
  • We are also supporting one homeless food distribution per week.
  • We are now also giving out specific ‘culturally appropriate’ food parcels to the BAME community for which we are taking referrals this week we supported 49 people in this way. We are also working with Leeds African Communities Network to give them any extra food that we can. 


  • We have lost a lot of our income including a drop in daily donations, no outside catering gigs, no bistro fundraisers and not being able to run the Leeds Half Marathon 🙁 But we have received some funding from Leeds Community Foundation and the council and feel confident we can continue operating like this for the foreseeable future. 
  • Many kind people have stepped up to make one off donations and set up standing orders so big thanks if you are one of those people. 
  • If you know people who want to donate then please give them info below 🙂
  • One off donations – these are best done through our ‘Give a Little’ – 
  • Regular donations – these are best made as bank transfers/standing orders and then notify us with a gift aid form, all of which can be found on the donate page of our website here 

Food supplies

  • We are working with other food waste organisations like Food Revival, TRJFP, Fareshare and Neighbourly to collect waste food but this has been a bit sporadic. 
  • We are lucky to be also supported with lots of waste food from The Headingley Greengrocer and The Organic Pantry and donations from Cook.
  • We are still accepting donations of food, toiletries essential household products (toilet roll, washing up liquid, washing powder, disinfectant, shampoo etc) and tupperware. You can drop these off at the cafe between 9.30 and 3pm on Monday and Thursday and 11am and 3pm on Fridays. 
  • Most needed food at the moment is fresh fruit and vegetables.

Safety provisions for staff and volunteers

  • We are now serving everything from the front door so only volunteers can enter the church.
  • We would like to remind you that if they have any symptoms or reason to believe they you come into contact with someone with Covid 19 to please stay home for 14 days and follow health experts advice. 
  • When we arrive we are propping open all doors to reduce contamination possibilities as well as sanitising all surfaces and things that get touched (light switches, taps, fridge doors etc).
  • We are now asking all volunteers to wear masks (provided to us by Hyde Park Source) at all times. Gloves are optional (we have plenty though) but must be washed as regularly as hands would be (all the time!) 
  • We are trying to spread out as much as possible and follow social distancing rules whilst in the cafe. 
  • We are trying to be strict with social distancing at the door of the cafe, and now have a two queue system to try and move things along a bit quicker. 

Other things

  • We are now arranging for volunteer musicians to play for the queue (to reduce stress at waiting times) this week we have had 3 different acts and we are looking for more, if you are a bored musician who is interested in volunteering in this way on an upcoming Monday, Thursday or Friday during opening hours then please get in touch.
  • We are now not allowing parking at the cafe on Monday, Thursday and Friday (except for deliveries) so if you come to volunteer in your car then please park on the road. 
  • We are adding online events to our facebook page that may be of interest to customers or volunteers, if you have any events you would like publicised then please message Rainbow Junktion directly on facebook with the event. 


  • The last few weeks we have got into a great rhythm with the new way of doing things and we are really proud of the work we are doing.
  • Massive thank you to the volunteers who have kept us open and serving the community!

Rainbow Junktion Update

Just letting you all know that Rainbow Junktion is still open 🙂 

We are doing takeaway lunches between 12 and 3pm on Mondays and Thursdays (plus a shop and also food parcel pick up point for LCC) and on Fridays we are open 12-3pm for a shop only.

We are taking it day by day but hope to stay open and serving the community as long as possible.

We are also delivering to a few self isolating financially struggling families in the local area.

We hope you are all staying safe and healthy and send you lots of rainbow love at this difficult and strange time. Below is some more information about where you can get help if you need it and volunteering/donating. 

If you need food or help
– Leeds City Council have launched two helplines, so that people in need of support can call to be matched with a volunteer who can help 0113 376 0330 or 0113 378 1877

If you have fresh or tinned food that is unopened and going spare
– Please drop it off at the cafe between 9.30am and 3pm on a Monday, Thursday or Friday or contact us on facebook
– Please contact us before dropping if it is a large amount or you cannot drop it in the above times.

If you want to volunteer
– We are not taking on new volunteers at this time but Voluntary Action Leeds are coordinating volunteers across the city, if you are healthy and low risk then just fill in this form or email or call 0113 2977920

If you have questions about Corona Virus

– The World Health Organisation has an excellent whats app where you can have your questions answered. You can join it here

If you want to be part of a local mutual aid group
– Join this group and check out the pinned post with groups organised by postcode –

If you could support the cafe financially

– You can donate directly to our bank account, just mark it as a donation, the details are – Bank:
CAF Bank Account name: Rainbow Junktion
Account number: 00031454
Sort Code: 40-52-40

Peace and rainbow love

Food delivery service

We now offer a food delivery service for those in financial need who are self isolating in the local area. This is on top of our existing takeaway service from the cafe itself.

We will be delivering takeaway boxes of today’s lunch in LS6 between 12pm and 3pm.

We have very limited food and ask that you only request this service if you are genuinely in need.

Please text 07490 543692 with the following information:

  • how many adults and children in the household
  • any dietary requirements
  • your address

We will try to serve everyone who gets in touch, but please bear with us as this is a new service, we have no idea how high demand will be and our food stocks are low.

We also ask that you stay at least 2 metres from the delivery person but smiles are very welcome.

Rainbow Junktion – takeaway only

After such serious consideration we have taken the difficult decision to move Rainbow Junktion to takeaway only from Monday 16th March. 

A small team of volunteers will cook Monday, Thursday and Friday and we will serve takeaways to anyone that comes between 12-2.30pm. As well as putting out basic supplies for people to take home. A decision will be taken about Friday’s bistro on Thursday. 

Careful hand washing and sanitising procedures will be in place. We have taken this decision in order to stop the spread of the corona virus and will do everything in our power to keep feeding people at this difficult time. 

If you want to help then please bring us all your takeaway containers as we will not have enough to last very long. Or check out the groups below who are organising help for the community. 

We urge people not to panic, just to take sensible measures. Most importantly look after yourselves and each other in these strange times.  Peace and rainbow love

Food for All & All for Food BISTRO

Food for All & All for Food on Friday 13th March at 7pm is an event aiming to support and connect local communities by raising awareness about food waste and by bringing people from different cultural and social backgrounds together under the same roof to enjoy a delicious night of diversity.

The event will be held in partnership with The Rainbow Junktion Cafe (charity cafe providing meals from food that would otherwise go to waste on a pay as you feel basis) and some Leeds University Union’s cultural societies, in the scope of raising funds and awareness, as well as highlighting the diversity of the Leeds community. As far as food is concerned, there’s going to be a buffet of various countries’ cuisines, and guests should pay as they see fit – come to enjoy!

Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free options will be available. Allergens and ingredients listed on food labels.

Please bring cash with you ! Everyone is welcome regardless of ability to pay, however a £5 donation is suggested.

Hosted by the Intercultural Ambassadors as part of University of Leeds, World Unite Festival.

The Intercultural Ambassadors programme is supported by funding from Santander Universities.

Book your tickets on our Facebook events page

Bistro featuring Lewis Burner – Friday 6th March

We are very excited to welcome back the unbelievably talented local singer/songwriter Lewis Burner to our next Rainbow Junction Bistro on Friday 6th March at 7pm.

There will of course also be a delicious three course dinner made from food saved from the bin and transformed by our clever volunteers. We will have all the main dietary options covered and everything will be pay-as-you-feel.

We will also be holding a collection of warm clothes/other useful things for amazing local group Helping Hands who are doing outreach to the sadly ever growing homeless community of Leeds. So if you have any good quality and clean clothes that you could donate then please bring them along on the night.

Please book a ticket to reserve your seat and then pay-as-you-feel on the night.

Rainbow Junktion Recipe Book launch Bistro – 21 February 2020

We are so excited to be launching our Rainbow Cookbook at a bistro night of delicious pay-as-you-feel food.

The cookbook is a culmination of a lot of work from staff, volunteers and customers and we are really proud of it. It will help us raise essential funds to keep our beautiful community cafe open.

Come and join us for dinner, celebrate with us and grab your copy (suggested minimum donation £5).

We are also looking for other local artists/zine makers who might want to sell their creations at the bistro … get in touch with if you would like to be involved.

To book your ticket go to

Racial Justice Network Bistro – 7th February 2020

We are excited to be collaborating with fabulous local organisation Racial Justice Network in our next Bistro on 7th February.

‘We listen and work with communities on effective ways of challenging oppressive practices. We support individuals and groups to embolden confidence and skills to tackle challenges, and to run effective campaigns. We also support and encourage people to build solidarity, and to mobilise large communities of resistance to affect change. Our current work includes #StopTheScandal, a campaign to resist the use of mobile fingerprint scanners with links to immigration databases.’

Racial Justice Network

Why not come along for dinner and find out more about their work? Tickets can be booked here

Introduction to British Sign Language (BSL)

Have you ever thought about learning British Sign Language? Here is your chance!

We are hosting three introductory sessions to learn some basic British Sign Language and discuss deaf awareness. No previous experience is necessary.

The sessions are free and will run from 11am to 12.30pm on Mondays 27th January, 3rd and 10th February with the option of a Pay-As-You-Feel lunch in the Rainbow Junktion Cafe afterwards.

We hope this will then go on to become a self sustaining learning group.

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